Junior Henning Dybendal is skiing well in both disciplines this season.
Feb. 20, 2004
ELDORA, Colo. - The University of Utah ski team rounded out a fifth-place finish in the opening day of the Colorado Invitational. Utah managed to score an overall 216.0 point total after wrapping up the giant slalom and classical events.
Currently, Denver has taken a comfortable first-place lead, while host Colorado is in second. New Mexico is three points behind the Buffs finishing third. Nevada placed fourth, followed by the Utes in fifth to round out the top five.
"This was a tough meet," said Head Coach Kevin Sweeney. "We are a little shorthanded with athletes, but I was impressed with our effort. Our main focus now is to receive good individual NCAA qualifying results. Overall, I was very pleased with how the day unfolded."
Utah's April Mancuso sparked the Ute attack skiing to a first-place finish with a time of 2:04.70 in the women's giant slalom event. Junior Rowena Hyldahl climbed into the top 10, finishing 10th with a two-run time of 2:07.61. Freshman Lauren Lattimer did not finish (DIF) the second run and was unable to add a third point score to the Utes total.
"It was great to see April win the GS event," remarked Head Alpine Coach Aaron Atkins. "She has been skiing awesome this season. Rowena had a great day finishing in the top 10. Lauren had a tough break, but the team will be geared up to ski tomorrow's event."
The men's downhill team was led by sophomores Andi Weiser and Will McDonald. Weiser edged out Whitman's Hannes Zirknitzer to place 14th with a time of 2:01.77. McDonald clinched a 16th-place finish in 2:02.15. Junior Ben Thornhill did not finish (DIF) the first run.
The women's cross country team skied extremely well, placing all three scores in the top 15. Junior Barbro Hatlevik clinched a ninth-place finish with a combine time of 15:47.6 in the 5-km classical event. Freshman Sandra Gredig slipped out of the top 10, finishing 11th in 15:56.6. Jenny Hansson skied 14th with a two-run time of 16:15.1.
"The women have continued to ski strong," commented Sweeney. "Barbro and Sandra skied very well. Jenny had a great race going, but was unable to hold on. She would have finished in the top-three."
Junior Henning Dybendal continues to tear up the competition as he placed third in the men's 10-km classical race with a time of 26:37.3. Junior Benjamin Sonntag gave a 11th-place performance with a two-run time of 28:20.9. Sophomore Tony Bozzio ended the Utes scoring participation skiing 29th in 31:04.5. Standout Ute skiers Daniel Sonntag and Casey Simons were unable to compete due to illness.
"We were not at our full strength," said Sweeney. "It was tough to compete without Daniel and Casey, they are a big part of this team. Henning wasn't feeling well either, but it was great to see him pull off such great results. He is skiing phenomenal this season. It was also really good to see Ben's 11th-place finish, knowing this really isn't his discipline. There were some very positive aspects today, but we are looking forward to tomorrow's action."
Tomorrow, Utah will conclude the final day of the Colorado Invite with the slalom and freestyle events. The men's and women's slalom races will take place on Eldora Mountain on the La Belle Dame run, while the 10/15-km freestyle nordic events will be held at the Eldora Nordic Center.
Saturday Race Times
Women's Slalom (8:15 first run, 10:00 second run)
Men's Slalom (11:15 first run, 1:00 second run)
Men's 15K Freestyle (9:30 a.m.)
Women's 10K Freestyle (11:00 a.m.)
Colorado Invitational Results:
1. Denver 286.0
2. New Mexico 270.0
3. Colorado 267.0
4. Nevada 218.0
5. Utah 216.0
6. Alaska Anchorage 190.0
7. Montana State 144.0
8. Western State 111.0
9. Whitman 104.0
10. Boise State 15.0